Bonner Christmas Card winner announced

Congratulations to this year’s Bonner Christmas Card Drawing Competition winner Emily Christie whose design will be featured on the 2020 Bonner Christmas cards.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said this year’s theme was Christmas at Home and the year three Sheldon College student sent a beautiful image of her family around the Christmas tree.

“Christmas can look very different for many families, but I think the important thing to remember is that it is always nice when its spent with our family and loved ones,” Mr Vasta said.

“Emily’s winning drawing not only has her family, but her beloved pets too which is a very nice inclusion for her interpretation of Christmas at home.”

Mr Vasta said Emily’s drawing will feature on his Christmas card which is sent out not only to his constituents in Bonner, but his colleagues in Canberra.

“That includes the Prime Minister himself who will see Emily’s lovely interpretation of Christmas at home,” Mr Vasta said.

“Thank you to everyone who sent in their lovely entries, it was a tough decision, but there’s always next year.”

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Bonner Christmas card competition is back

The annual Bonner Christmas Card competition is back and this year’s theme is “Christmas at Home.”

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP is looking for an outstanding and creative design to be featured on his Christmas card, which is sent out to more than 60,000 households in Bonner and even gets sent to the Prime Minister.

“Christmas this year will be one of those celebrations which is usually spent at home in our local communities, and I am looking for the best drawing which best shows what Christmas at Home means to you,” Mr Vasta said.

“The winning entry will not only be on the front cover of my Christmas card which is distributed to more than 60,000 households, but is also sent to my parliamentary colleagues across Australia, including Prime Minister Scott Morrison.”

Mr Vasta said as well as the winning entry being used as the cover, the winner will also receive a school holiday activities pack to the value of $100, sourced from local small businesses in Bonner.

“The 2020 Bonner Christmas Card Competition is now open and all entries must be in before COB, Friday, November 6,” Mr Vasta said.

“2020 has been a year like no other and COVID-19 has been the catalyst for so many family events and gatherings being celebrated in different and unique ways.

“So be creative with your entries for the chance to win.”

Entry forms can be downloaded at

Entries can either mailed in to 69 Clara Street, Wynnum 4178 or scanned and emailed to

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Christmas appeal attracting generous donations

The Ross Vasta Christmas Appeal for Stanthorpe has attracted generous community support, including from eight-year-old Charlotte Mews who recently donated $123 she raised though a bake sale.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said he was so proud of Charlotte who wanted to donate the money she raised through Moreton Bay Girl Guides to the appeal.

“Charlotte’s mum Sarah contacted our office to let us know her daughter had baked cookies, slices and cupcakes and sold them to her fellow Brownies and Girl Guide leaders to raise funds for drought affected farmers,” Mr Vasta said.

“As well as fundraising through a bake sale, Charlotte presented a poster gave and short talk at Brownies about the drought and fires in Stanthorpe.

“When she heard about our Christmas appeal, she wanted to present us with the funds she raised, and GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant was more than happy to accept it on my behalf.”

GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said the online charity had so far received cash donations from dozens of individuals and families in the east Brisbane electorate.

“We’re incredibly heartened by the generous response from the people of Bonner, and especially by the amazing individual donation from Charlotte from what sounded like a very delicious bake sale,” Ms Tennant said.

“100 per cent of donations GIVIT receives through the Ross Vasta Christmas Appeal will go towards purchasing items from Stanthorpe businesses for bushfire-affected households. Whether it be five or 200 dollars, every donation helps give Christmas cheer to a devastated community.”

Charlotte’s mum Sarah Mews said her daughter was inspired to help the drought affected community following a recent trip to Stanthorpe to visit her grandparents.

“We are very proud of what she has achieved at such a young age,” Ms Mews said.

Mr Vasta said so far the Christmas Appeal for Stanthorpe had raised more than $2700.

“We’re more than halfway through the appeal so a big thank you to the generous people of Bonner,” Mr Vasta said.

“Thanks to our partnership with GIVIT, 100 per cent of funds will be supporting the drought and bushfire affected Stanthorpe region to bring them some Christmas cheer.”

For more information or to donate, visit

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Ross Vasta Christmas appeal for Stanthorpe

The Ross Vasta Christmas Appeal officially launched today and has partnered with national online charity GIVIT to support the drought and bushfire affected community of Stanthorpe and the Granite Belt.

Federal Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP said the Christmas Appeal for Stanthorpe encouraged locals in Bonner to donate and purchase much needed items and services for Stanthorpe and surrounding residents.

“In a further effort to support the local community, we will ensure where possible, items for the Stanthorpe residents through this appeal will be purchased locally to support Darling Downs businesses,” Mr Vasta said.

“Now more than ever, the township needs to see money we raise, spent locally to keep small business and jobs ticking over.

Mr Vasta said he was driven to supporting Stanthorpe with a Christmas appeal after witnessing the hardship of families and farmers affected by the drought and recent bushfires.

“Suffering through a drought is hard enough, but to lose homes, sheds and stock through bushfires is just devastating,” Mr Vasta said.

GIVIT CEO Sarah Tennant said the organisation had been working with frontline services and charities to support the recovery process of bushfire-affected communities since early September.

“Christmas is always a hard time for people who are struggling financially, especially those Queenslanders affected by the ongoing drought as well as recent bushfires,” Ms Tennant said.

“We’re proud to be partnering with the Member for Bonner Ross Vasta MP to continue to help those in the Granite Belt, who have already received thousands of donated items through GIVIT including white goods and essential clothing for young families.”

Mr Vasta said the Christmas appeal would run for six weeks, finishing on December 13.

“This is a fantastic way for residents and businesses in my electorate of Bonner to support farmers, families and local businesses in one of Queensland’s drought affected communities.

“I’m so pleased to be able to create this avenue for people in Bonner to do something positive and selfless, by supporting regional families who are struggling through the festive season.”

Big-hearted residents in the Bonner electorate can donate funds to purchase particular items or services, such as:

  • $2 will provide a newspaper from the Stanthorpe Newsagency for a farmer affected by the drought
  • $5 will provide a coffee from Brinx Deli & Café for a volunteer firefighter
  • $10 will provide Christmas decorations from Price Busters Variety Stanthorpe for a vulnerable family
  • $20 will provide a cosmetics voucher from Pure Heaven for a single woman affected by recent bushfires
  • $30 will provide a Christmas lunch at the RSL for an elderly man living alone
  • $40 will provide a premium pack of meat from Stanthorpe Quality Meats for a couple’s Christmas lunch
  • $50 will provide a lady’s gift voucher for Pink Poppies Living Creatively to decorate a property damaged by bushfires
  • $80 will provide a clothes voucher from Eclectic Palate for a woman displaced by bushfires
  • $200 will provide a groceries voucher for a drought-affected family’s Christmas feast from the Spano’s Supa IGA
  • $300 will provide an electric guitar from Top Beat Entertainment & Electronics for drought-affected family to surprise a teenager
  • $500 will provide a voucher from Howard & Sons Mitre 10 for a man who’s shed was destroyed by bushfires

To donate to the Ross Vasta Christmas Appeal for Stanthorpe visit, select Christmas 2019 in the “Donate to” options, and put ‘VASTA’ in the comments box.

100 per cent of funds received will be used to purchase items for Stanthorpe residents in need this Christmas.

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Member for Bonner Ross Vasta is proud to partner with Silky Oaks Children’s Haven for their 2018 Hampers of Hope campaign.

Mr Vasta is calling for donations and support from the community to help deliver Christmas hampers to people in need in our community.

You can help support the campaign in the following ways:

• Sponsoring a hamper through a financial donation

• Donating non-perishable food items such as tinned fruit and vegetables, biscuits, long-life milk, tea, coffee

• Donate new children’s toys (unwrapped)

Mr Vasta’s office at 69 Clara St, Wynnum will act as a drop-off point for donations until 7th December 2018.

Online donations can be made at

Mr Vasta thanks partners Mangrove Housing, BABI, St Peters Church, St Pauls Church, and Wynnum Christian Community Church for their support of this wonderful cause.

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I want to talk about an issue that’s particularly important as the Christmas holidays draw near, with some families doing it especially tough, and that’s food wastage.

Can I first say I’m proud to have once again partnered with Foodbank Queensland for their annual Christmas Donation drive. My office will be taking donations of non-perishable goods until December 12. Every donation will be going out to people in need this Christmas. Last year my office was inundated with generous donations and I want to thank the Bonner community for giving so freely.  No doubt my constituents’ generosity will shine through again this time around.

People can donate anything from canned vegetables, pasta sauce, rice, jams and spreads, tinned fruit, long life products and other non-perishable food items. 

It’s staggering that over 600,000 people in Australia—one third of them children—seek food relief from charities every month, while Australia produces enough food to feed 60 million people a year. Food wastage costs Australia $20 billion a year and seriously harms our environment.

That’s why this Government is developing a National Food Waste Strategy with the goal of halving food waste by 2030. I commend Foodbank for taking a leading role in the development of this National Food Waste Strategy. The Government is convening a National Food Waste summit next month and I look forward to some great outcomes from that.

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Wakerley Rotary Christmas Carols

When: Saturday, 6th December – from 3.30pm.
Where: Wakerley Park – 74 Dianthus St, Wakerley 4154.

You’re invited to the 2nd Annual Wakerley Rotary Christmas Carols! Come along for live music, carols, arts and crafts, rides, a jumping castle and animal farm, Santa Claus, local food and drinks, and fireworks. More information at

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Belmont Carols on the Oval

When: Sunday, 7th December – 5-7pm (pre carols entertainment); 7pm (carols); 8.15pm (fireworks).
Where: Belmont State School, 1275 Old Cleveland Rd, Carindale 4152.

This massive night will include live music, a BBQ dinner, marketplace, face painting, baby animal farm, jumping castle and inflatable slide, coffee van, fairy floss, and much more! Keep up to date on this wonderful event at

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Eastside Community Church Christmas Carols

When: Sunday, 21st December – 5.30pm (free sausage sizzle and kids activities); 6.30pm (Christmas carols).
Where: Eastside Community Church, Cnr Wondall Rd & Manly Rd, Gumdale.

Join Eastside Community Church to celebrate the joy of the holidays and take part in their Community Carols. Please bring your own chairs and/or blanket. Coffee and other drinks available to purchase.

For more information visit or contact them on (07) 3823 4455.

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Christmas is fast approaching and with more than 2,200 Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed overseas on operations, Australians are being asked to spare a thought for our troops who won’t be able to spend Christmas with their families and friends.

Federal Member for Bonner, Ross Vasta, said the best and most effective way to show support is to send an email message to the troops at, or a postcard to:

Messages to the Troops
Media Section
39 Personnel Support Battalion
Building 217
Randwick Barracks NSW 2031

“Messages are always appreciated by ADF personnel, and sending a message that simply says ‘thank you for your service’ can have a tremendous positive impact,” Mr Vasta said.

“This year I am also asking the community to consider donating to ex-service organisations such as the RSL, Legacy and Soldier On in recognition of the increasing numbers of recently returned veterans.”

“These organisations provide phenomenal support to our ADF personnel, past and present, and their families, and I strongly encourage residents in Bonner looking to make a difference in the lives of ADF personnel and veterans to consider donating to one of these excellent organisations.” 

Donations can be made to Legacy or Soldier On to support personnel who have been wounded on operations and family members who are suffering financially and socially from the death of a loved one.

For those still wishing to send a care package, the Australian Forces Post Office box address will be open from 3 November until 8 December 2014. 

An Australian Defence Member
Australian Defence Force NSW 2890

All items must be submitted to an Australia Post outlet by the cut-off date of 8 December 2014.

Mr Vasta said those who wish to send a care package but are short on time may like to consider donating money to the RSL’s Australian Forces Overseas Fund.

“The RSL provides care packages to Australian troops as well as Australian Federal Police personnel biannually, and your support would contribute to this valuable programme,” Mr Vasta said.

“This Christmas I urge all Australians to again dig deep and support our serving men and women and their families whose sacrifices ensure our safety and security.”

What can be included in care packages

Be creative with donations while being mindful of Australia Post’s guidelines for the free delivery of care packages. Some suggestions are listed below, as are the general restrictions. It is recommended that any donated goods collected by EOs, and which are unable to be sent due to size or weight, be donated to local charities.

– Anzac biscuits
– Salted peanuts
– Muesli bars
– Instant noodles
– Lollies
– Small tinned consumables
– Other commercially manufactured and packaged foods that are non-perishable

Other ideas
– Magazines
– Puzzle books
– DVDs
– Socks
– Letters of support
– Posters and letters from school children
– Stamped, self-addressed envelope – this way personnel can thank you for the package

– Deodorant (non-aerosol)
– Shaving cream (non-aerosol)
– Small bottle of talcum powder
– Disposable razors
– Shower Gel
– Lip Balm

What not to include
– Pornographic material
– Alcoholic beverages
– Any food prepared or cooked at home, including cakes and biscuits
– Clothing (except socks)
– Pork products
– Cigarettes
– Perfumery products

How to donate to the RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund

The RSL’s Australian Forces Overseas Fund enables the RSL to send biannual care packages to ADF members as well as Australian Federal Police personnel serving overseas. This is a great way to donate as the RSL is well equipped to provide care packages that troops not only want, but are also culturally sensitive and do not contain perishable or illegal material.

More information about the RSL’s Australian Forces Overseas Fund can be found by going to – then click on the “Supporting ADF Personnel” link and then on the “RSL Australian Forces Overseas Fund” link. This page also includes a link to a donation form. Donations over $2 are tax deductable and every donation is individually acknowledged by the RSL.

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